Ken Atkinson, R.I.P.: Good Samaritan Doc Killed Aiding Woman in Domestic Dispute

The bloodshed continues — and in this case, the victim of a homicide was a family doctor simply trying to aid a woman in distress.

Following two fatal shootings on Sunday (one in Denver, the other in Northglenn) and just prior to a stabbing on the 16th Street Mall last night, Dr. Kenneth Atkinson was shot to death in Centennial during what's being described as a domestic dispute in which two women were also injured.

A suspect is in custody — but his arrest can't mitigate the shock being felt by those in Atkinson's circle, including his patients, of whom there were many.

He's reportedly practiced in Centennial for thirty years.

Thus far, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office has only released the most basic information in the case.

At about 1:15 p.m. on Monday, April 4, the ACSO notes that its dispatch office received multiple 911 calls about gunshots heard on the 6200 block of East Long Circle in Centennial.

Deputies, assisted by officers with the Greenwood Village Police Department, soon located three victims.

In addition, law enforcers conducted a search for what's described as "a lone suspect" and soon tracked him down "in the vicinity."

He was taken into custody without incident.

The ACSO has not released the names or conditions of the three victims — but Fox31 learned that the person who sustained a fatal gunshot wound was Atkinson.

Witnesses tell the station that a woman who lived near Atkinson ran from her home seeking help.

Atkinson and a female neighbor attempted to offer their assistance.

But the gunman opened fire, hitting both women and Atkinson.

The doctor was pronounced dead at the scene, while the women were transported to area hospitals. The severity of their injuries isn't known at this time.

The ACSO's investigation is ongoing — as is the grief generated by Atkinson's death.

His longtime assistant told the station about Atkinson's caring reputation among his patients and the affection he lavished on his wife, two daughters and a grandchild born just a couple of weeks ago.

He was said to be nearing retirement, when he presumably could have spent even more time with this quartet.

Our sincere condolences to the friends, family, loved ones and patients of Dr. Kenneth Atkinson.

Below, see two Fox31 reports — the first from the crime scene, the second a profile of Atkinson.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts